Comfort levels about socializing indoors vary during our current state of pandemic life. New York has proven that wearing a mask and safety protocols work. Not everyone is on board which has affected our traveling locally, nationally and internationally.
Define your space based on purpose. With some creativity for simple projects or remodeling, here are some ideas to create a staycation.
September feels like the start of a new year whether dealing with a school schedule or not. My family’s back to school days have ended yet it still feels like it’s time for a fresh start without the January pressure of New Year resolutions.
The 3-day Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck is filled with antiques, vintage, rustic and handmade items where the pages of Country Living Magazine come to life. The fair is held the first weekend in June.
CatskillMercantile.com is an online shopping hub featuring products inspired by the Catskill and Adirondack regions of New York. They travel throughout New York and surrounding areas to identify premiere small to midsize artisans as well as up and coming makers.
A big misconception is that staging is expensive. Depending on the condition of the home and its contents, staging can be quite affordable with a huge return on investment.
Do not remodel your home to sell. Do it for you to enjoy while living in it. There are cost-effective things to do to refresh your home. Replacing countertops with granite in a dated kitchen or bath is not one of them. Saving my clients from overspending by not over-prepping sells their home.
Finally, spring! Besides spring-cleaning, this is a good time to get rid of anything that is no longer serving you. Many organizations have fundraising yard sales. Or start gathering up goodies for your own. Sort your stuff into piles: trash/donate/sell.
On the flip side, watch for local yard and garages sales to purchase “new-to-your-home” items. You never know what you might find, and the price can be remarkably lower than buying new. Look for Facebook online yard, too. Just as you are looking to change the look in your home, someone else is, as well.
My last column covered reasons your home may not be selling. This one is about the formula to get your house sold. It really is quite simple but most folks miss the mark.
One size does not fit all
This has to do with staging/preparing your home. All homes are different. All budgets are different. Not every home is perfect and not everyone has the money to invest in renting furniture and accessories to stage. It is important to be realistic and more importantly, respectful to the seller. I call this ‘staging in allowance’. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Read more
Ten years ago I started my own business. Like anything worthwhile in life, being a small business owner has its ups and downs. Being the first person in this area of the Hudson Valley to offer professional Staging took a lot of convincing. It still does.
Organically, I was meant to do what I am doing. As a young girl, I loved rearranging my room. In high school, with a strong interest in art, I remember designing a room for a project. My teacher said I was a natural.
One thing I truly believe, when something is meant to be, it will be. The universe has a way of grabbing your attention, providing endless opportunities. Thankfully, I listened.
It would take years before I studied interior design. At 39, I went back to school on a part time basis. The Sunday New York Times somehow ended up in my home and I read an article on Real Estate Staging, I registered for training. Soon after, I trained to learn Redesign.
In 2005 I started my business. A reporter wanted to do a piece on my unique services. Problem was, I didn’t have any clients yet. Not wanting this opportunity to pass up, I suggested the paper run a contest for a room redesign. The editor loved the idea.
Based on photos, I selected the winner and ended up on the cover and centerfold of the Home section. I made suggestions for every contestant over the next few weeks, which turned into my Claudia’s Corner column. Today it runs every other Sunday in the Times Herald Record’s Home Section.
At the last minute, I was asked to fill in as a speaker for a Hudson Valley Builders Association meeting. The idea of public speaking terrified me. The late Jean Rowe, past executive director, would not take no for an answer. She wanted a power point, which I never did. She told me to find someone to show me. My children showed me.
To this day, I think fondly of Jean Rowe and how she pushed me out of my comfort zone. The presentation was a success. I don’t remember much of that night due to nerves but I do remember what Jean said to me after the presentation. Jean hugged me and said, “You did an outstanding job! It was informative with a lot of photos. These builders are visual so they needed the power point, which is why I insisted on it. More importantly, you held their attention. I watched the crowd and every one of them was listening to you.”
A few years ago, I was asked to teach a staging class last minute, the scheduled instructor pulled out. With a busy schedule, I found myself agreeing to teach a 6-hr class and putting together another Power Point. I now teach at multiple locations and have shortened the length of time of the class. These classes are geared for the home seller before they put their home on the market.
It was an honor to be nominated by the NJ Chapter of The Real Estate Staging Association and ended up winning 2011 Professional Stager of the Year in the Northeast. Entering on my own was not even on my radar.
The best parts of the last decade are the people I had the honor of working with. There is nothing more personal than working with someone in his or her own home. I would repeatedly hear, while preparing their home for sale, “We should have been living like this all along”.
During a few recent classes and consultations I find myself repeatedly saying, “Cream always rises to the top” referring to homes for sale. The success rates are quite real and tangible if you know the formula of how to properly market a home for sale.
A special heartfelt thank you to all who played a part in this journey and to the many opportunities that presented itself.
Staging instructor: Christine Rae
Redesign instructor: Ann Anderson
Reporter, Times Herald Record: Deb Botti
Former GO Home and Features Editor, Times Herald Record: Karen Harris
Past Executive Director of Hudson Valley Builders Association: The late Jean Rowe
My Power Point Instructions: Aston & Preston Jacobs
SUNY Ulster Kingston Continuing & Professional Program Coordinator: Linda Corsones
NJ Chapter of RESA: Fondly known in 2011 as the Jersey Girls plus 1 (I was the plus ‘1’ from NY)
~~~ Definition of Staging: The act of preparing a home for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property quickly and for more money.
Definition of Redesign: is using what is in the home to create a fresh new look.